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The Promise of the Tribe

March 14, 2014
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Next month, Microwave Journal and parent company Horizon House will host the second annual Electronic Design Innovation Conference (EDI CON) in Beijing, China. Throughout the year, we have been keeping our readers up to date on its developments as related news unfolded, from the announcement of major sponsors to the creation of special expert panels and the emergence of notable technical themes among the accepted papers. With a month left before the event, we have a clear sense of what the conversation in Beijing will focus on and who will be delivering that message.

Starting with the welcome keynote by Chairman Dr. Junde Song of the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, delegates will hear directly from this influential government advisor as he presents China’s six major initiatives defining the country’s internal information and communication technology direction. Dr. Song has published over a dozen books along with nearly 200 technical papers in English and Chinese on mobile communications and the Internet, the future of communications, CTI/CRM and the VLSI CAD field. Leveraging his current research in mobile internet technology, Dr. Song will also introduce the development of CAD EDA in China and the demand and cultivation of engineering talents on behalf of universities and industry.

Further in the plenary session, the development of 5G systems will be a topic considered by several keynote speakers including Corbett Rowell, director of R&D at China Mobile Research Institute, James Kimery, director of marketing, National Instruments (see his article – The Path to 5G in this past January’s Microwave Journal) and Josef Wolf, manager of Rohde & Schwarz Spectrum and Network Analyzer Division. Trends in future telecommunications from the perspective of evolving test solutions will be presented by Mario Narduzzi, marketing manager for Agilent Technologies’ modular solutions. Narduzzi will offer key insights into how core technologies inside next generation test instruments are redefining measurement speed, accuracy and the ability to address increasingly complex RF/digital characterization for R&D and production – the theme of this month’s cover story. As Agilent’s former manager for its China operations, Narduzzi will be able to provide his insight into modular test solutions in the context of China’s high-frequency electronic design market needs.

Last year, our goal was to demonstrate that the microwave community was ready and willing to support an industry-driven conference and exhibition in an emerging market. With the success of the inaugural event, participating companies proved they can create and present content that working engineers are hungry for. In this issue, we have published this year’s three-day technical conference and workshop schedule to give our global readership a sense of what that content looks like. Although these papers target an audience in Beijing, the technology being presented would be equally welcome in Tampa, FL at IMS or at European Microwave Week in Rome, Italy.

This brings me to the tribe. A tribe is defined as any aggregate of people united by ties of descent from a common ancestor, a community of customs and traditions with adherence to common leaders. In the United States, the microwave tribe traces back to the engineers and scientists who gathered at MIT’s Radiation Labs in the 1940s to develop RADAR technology. The European microwave tribe has roots back to early theorists such as Maxwell and Hertz and more recently to organizations such as the CEPT and GSM. Universally, our “customs” are defined by classical microwave theory, our “traditions” are chronicled in the trade magazines we read and contribute to and the conferences we attend. Our thought leaders are those who advance the state of microwave technology in ways that earn our collective respect and admiration.

Everyone who regularly attends conferences and industry trade events throughout the year (year after year) experiences the pleasure of engaging with members of our tribe. I certainly enjoy seeing industry folks and former colleagues at IMS each year and I have become increasingly familiar with our European counterparts since attending EuMW regularly. I know an important microwave happening is near when I start recognizing faces at the airport baggage claim, taxi line, hotel lobby, etc. Such encounters provide a reassuring counterbalance to the unease of being on unfamiliar turf.

At last year’s EDI CON, I took real pleasure in seeing members of our microwave tribe venturing to Beijing to represent their companies from Europe and the U.S. Adding to this great group of people, I have begun to recognize a few members of the Chinese microwave community thanks to multiple country visits in my role as editor for Microwave Journal China. While the entire global tribe of microwave engineers may not speak the same language, I am encouraged that together we all speak the language of MMICs, MIMO and Maxwell. I look forward to seeing many of you in Beijing and wherever else our paths might cross.

For more information, download the EDI CON 2014 conference guide.

Recent Articles by David Vye, Editor, Microwave Journal

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